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Music brings members of Central Harmony a cappella group together


Central Harmony members practice at their weekly rehearsal on Sept. 18 in the Music Building.

The harmony in Central Harmony goes well beyond sound.

Music brings members of the registered student organization together and they've developed strong friendships. They especially love coming up with jokes and puns involving the group's acronym, CH. 

“When we want to do a group hug, we’ll call it a 'chug,'" said Jackson junior Emily Warriner. 

Westphalia senior Colton Hengesbach said when the group was discussing a camping trip, they called it ‘champing.’

CH is one of three a cappella singing groups at Central Michigan University in addition to On the Rox and Fish N Chips. The group is currently made up of 17 members who have a passion for performing, and rehearse intensively for the various performances they put on throughout the year. 

Despite what some people might believe considering they are a singing RSO, there is only one member who is a music major. All the current members have their own reasons for wanting to join Central Harmony, but they had no idea they would form such close friendships after joining. 

Hengesbach said he joined this a capella group because his friend talked him into it. However, he believes it to be one of the best decisions he has ever made and feels a close bond with his fellow members. 

Warriner said she wanted to join Central Harmony because she has always loved music and was involved in choir all throughout high school. She also added that her Leadership Safari guide recommended that she try it out, as they were close and she shared to her that she has a love for music and singing. 

Stevenson senior Kaity Wade, the current president of Central Harmony, said she was involved in an a capella group when she went to Grand Valley State University. She transferred to CMU her sophomore year, and had no idea there were a cappella groups on campus until her roommate suggested she audition.

In order to become part of this RSO, a student must go through an audition process that is only held once a year at the beginning of the year. The RSO typically hosts two audition days where prospective members sing a verse and chorus of a song of their choosing, and one day for callbacks. Anyone is eligible to audition, but the selection process is often difficult as they are only allowed 18 members and currently have 17. 

Although they are full for this year because members are satisfied with their current sound and are not looking for an 18th member, Hengesbach said they encourage new people to come and audition next year. 

“We usually start off our practices just chatting and catching up,” Hengesbach said. “Next, we go into warm ups and jump right into work.” 

The group picks songs to perform that are special to them, while also staying current. The group made a point of emphasizing how organized they have become, but also how close they have all grown to each other. 

Apart from gaining new friends and spending their time doing what they love, Central Harmony members also perform at different events and even in competitions throughout the year. 

“We can’t go a day without talking,” said Wade, and both Warriner and Hengesbach agreed. 

Central Harmony has a fall concert on Nov. 11. The time and location are to be determined.